Dick Cheney to headline Florida GOP’s ‘Sunshine Summit’ in November

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As first reported by Florida Politics, the Republican Party of Florida is holding its first-ever “Sunshine Summit” in order to showcase presidential candidates and expose them to Florida’s strategic voters about 100 days out from the March 15, 2016, primaries.

More details emerged early Tuesday afternoon as RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia announced that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be on hand for the party’s annual Statesman Dinner the night before the candidates speak and meet with state activists at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

Ingoglia — who is also a lawmaker in the Florida House — issued the following remarks to accompany the revised schedule of events released Tuesday.

“This is an exciting time as Republicans across Florida come together before 2016 elections,” said Rep. Ingoglia. “The Sunshine Summit is a unique opportunity and event where presidential candidates will share their vision for the nation with the more than 2,500 expected activists and grassroots leaders in one of most influential primary and general election swing states.”

According to the revised program, Cheney will address the Statesman’s Dinner on Thursday, November 12, ahead of an RPOF board meeting the next morning as GOP-ers from around the state check in and register before hearing from the candidates who attend — still an open question — and attending breakout sessions with individual candidates and state leaders.

The Florida Republican event will extend into the next day, when and RPOF breakfast and another slate of presidential candidates is set to address the crowd Saturday morning.

Regardless of the itinerary, party officials are hoping to capitalize on their pivot away from their occasional “Presidency” straw poll series and toward an event that presents a more unified front.

“This unparalleled RPOF initiative will bring together voters and community leaders from Pensacola to Key West and everywhere in-between,” continued Ingoglia Tuesday,

“With Florida’s immense size, diverse population, and wide range of media outlets, this event will give candidates a powerful platform to reach Florida voters who are ready for a change of the failed policies of the current president. We have a strong lineup of Republican candidates this election and I know that our Party will be well positioned to take back the White House with whoever wins our Party’s nomination.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.